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any means so generally practiced, nor so often repeated, as it should be. As respects the frequency of its repetition, no specific rules can be given. This is a matter which must, in a great measure, be left discretionary with the teacher; it may, however, be remarked that much less injury will be likely to result to the papil from an unnecessarily frequent repetition of this exercise, than from a recurrence of it at too long intervals, or from an indefinite postponement of it from time to time. “The mind,” says Dr. Andrew Combe, in his principles of physiology, "always performs its task with the greatest ease and efficiency, when required to repeat the same exercise at regular intervals," and all enlightened experience confirms the truth of this observation. By the way the principle here referred to is equally applicable to all the other exercises of school as well as to composing.
This exercise should, then, be repeated, at short and regular intervals, and, ultimately, it will be found that what was at first regarded as an irksome task, will be entered upon and performed with a degree of alacrity and delight which will fully compensate for all the labor and application necessary for the acquisition of no ordinary degree of elegance and skill in composition. The pupil should, however, be instructed that, in the langaage of Dr. Blair, “it is not every kind of composing that will improve his manner of writing.” In the beginning, therefore, he should write slowly, and with much care; and finally, he will realize the truth of that observation," speed and facility are the fruit of practice.”
It has been asserted that this exercise will be a source of advantage to the pupil in improving his method of spelling. It will be known that there are many who, when required to spell by the usual oral methed, can do so with a tolerable degree of correctness, but who, when they attempt to combine and arrange the letters of a word or words, in writing, very often fail of success. The exercise of composing it is at once seen, is the desideratum sought for by that description of pupils to whom reference is had. The writing of compositions is to the study of English grammar what the use of the blackboard is to that of arithmetic, or to the demonstration of the problems of Euclid. It renders tangible and easy of access, and therefore practically useful, that which, without sach aid, is anderstood only in theory, and is, therefore, of little or no practical utility to the student.
Finally, the inquiry may, with propriety, bo instituted, what are the advantages proposed to be attained by the abillty, on the part of the youthful aspirant, either male or female, practically to apply, with ease and correctness, the rules and principles of English grammar both in speaking and writing?
In reply to this interrogatory, it may be remarked that no quality of the
head or beart operates more efficiently as a passport to refined and elegant society, or to posts of trust and honor, than that which is now the subject of commendation.
The great and good Washington, who is regarded as equally good anthority in the arena of mind and morals as well as of military heroism and statesmanship, is known to have attached so much importance to a correct and genteel mode of address, that be made its possession an essential prerequisite to admission, either into his cabinet of officers or his domestic circle. “Whatever knowledge,” says Blair, “may be gained by the study of other languages," or, it may be added, by the pursuits of science and art, in any of their departments, “it may never be communicated with advantage, except by those who can write and speak their own language with propriety. Let the matter of an author be ever so good and usefal, his compositions will always suffer in the public esteem, if his expressions be deficient in purity or propriety.” “These polished acts," says the poet, of which the one in question occupies a prominent position, "have humanized mankind,
Softened the rude, and calmed the boisterous."
Finally, as one of the most important results which may be expected to follow from the attainment of au easy elegance and propriety of expression, both in writing and conversation, may be reckoned not only the progress from the confusion, disorder, and want of management which character. ize the colloquial style, and attempts at composition, of illiterate persons, to that degree or elegance, propriety, and force of expression, and that orderly arrangement of fideas, which are characteristic of the prodactions of the disciplined mind; but also the efficient aid which results from such acquisition to the discipline of the mind itself. For, in the philosophy of mind, no fact is better established than that, while the pupil is acquiring the arranging and expressing of his thoughts with purity, propriety, and force, he is at the same time learning to think methodically and profoundly. “There is little prospect,” says G. Brown, “that education will ever be generally raised to a just appreciation of that science (the science of language) which more than all others, forms the mind to habits of correct thinking.” Again, says Blair, "All that regards the study of composition, merits the higher attention upon this account, that it is intimately connected with the improvement of our intellectual powers. For, I must be allowed to say, that when we are employed, after a proper manner, in the study of composition, we are cultivating the understanding itself. The study of arranging and expressing our thoughts with propriety, teaches us to think as well as to speak accurately."
In conclusion, it is believed, we are justly authorized to conclude, in view of the facts and observations which have been adduced, relating to the subject under consideration, that one-fourth, or at least one-half, the time usually devoted to the study of English grammar, if accompanied with the appliances which have been thus imperfectly sketched, would secare to the scholar a better knowledge of language than that which is now attained.
B. H. STARK.
RIPON, November 6th, 1858. Ar a meeting held in Ootober, 1858, for the re-organization of the "Ripon Teachers, Association, Mr. Bayley, of Brockway College, was appointed to read a paper on the best method of organizing a school; and Miss Marlin was appointed to read an essay at the next meeting of the Association.
After the transaction of business, the Association adjourned to meet in Brockway, on Saturday, November 6th, 1858.
At the ringing of the bell in the morning a few teachers convened, and after the opening exercises, proceeded to the election of officers for the coming year, which resulted in electing J. M. Fry, Esq., Pres.; Mr. Hoyt, Vice-Pres. ; Miss Marlin, Seo'y; and Mr. Valentine, Treasurer; Messrs. Short and Maccauley, and Miss Adams, Executive Oommittee, after which your reporter went to dinner, and I presume all at the meeting did likewise. The P.M. meeting convened at 1} o'clock, and was well attended. we first listened to the paper of Mr Bayley, after which the subject of the paper (School Organization) was discussed at length by several gents; secondly, to the essay by Miss Marlin, sabject—“Teaching Reading," written in poetry. The subject of the composition was then made the subject of discussion for a short time. The Association then adjourned to meet in the First Ward Union School-House, Ripon, Wis., in four weeks, at 10 o'clock A.M. More anon. Yours,
A candidate for Congress, out West sums up his edication as follows:
“I never went to school but three times in my life, and that was to a night school. Two nights the teacher didn't come, and 'tother night I had no candle !"
COLUMBIA COUNTY TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION.
This body held a convention at Pardeeville during the last week in Oct., and we conclude, from reading the proceedings published in the Portage City Record, that it must have been an interesting session.
Exercises in reading were conducted by Mr. Oox and Mrs. Zoller, in grammar by Mrs. Zoller and Mr. Richardson, in geography by Mr. T. O. Barden, and the following subjects were discussed during the session, viz.: Graded Schools; Reading the Scriptures in School; School Government, Music in Schools ; Teaching Writing in Schools, and the Duties of Parents to their Children.
Addresses were delivered by Messrs. Baldwin and Hughson, on the -great changes in our educational system ; by Mr. Barden on the moral qualifications required for a good school teacher, and by Mrs. Zoller on Education. The Executive Committee made the following appointments for the next convention: Rev, Geo. O. Heckman, Opening Address ; Mr. Richardson, the Social Advancement of our Country; Mr. Emerton, Declamation; Mr. Gilbert, The Importance of the Teachers' Station ; Mrs. Zoller, School Government; Miss Emerton, Essay on Music. After passing resolutions of thanks to the citizens of Pardeoville, to Mr. L. A. Gilbert, and Mrs. Zoller, the Association adjourned to meet at Portage City, on Tuesday, April 25th, 1859.
WAUPACA TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION,
PURSUANT to a call for that purpose, the teachers and friends of education in Waupaca County met at Weyauwega, on the 13th October, 1858, to organize a Teachers' Association.
The meeting was called to order by C. F. Hobart, of New London, and Melzar Parker, of Weyauwega, was called to the chair, and E. M. Austin, of the same place, was chosen Secretary,
It was then moved that a Teachers' Association for this county be now formed. After some remarks from C. F. Hobart, the motion was unanimously carried.
The following persons were chosen a committee to draft a constitution: Messrs. Delos Luce, Chas. F. Hobart, Melzar Parker, Mary Taggart, Lucy Gibson ,and Emma Gardner,
In the evening Rev. W. W, Templeton addressed the Association on the sub ject of Phonetics.
Oct. 14–MORNING SESSION.—The committee appointed for that purpose reported, and the report was accepted, and after amendment of some of the articles a constitution was adopted as follows:
" Art. 1.-This Association shall be called the Waupaca County Teachers' Association, and shall have for its object the mental improvement of its members, and the advancement of public education throughout the county.
" Art. 2.—This Association shall consist of the teachers, the school officers, and the friends of education, each malo member paying the sum of 50 cents annually. Honorary members may be elected at any meeting, and on payment of the annual fee, shall become acting members.
“ Art. 3.-The officers of this Association shall be a President, a Vice-President, a Recording Secretary, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Board of three Directors, to be elected at the annual meeting.
[We are obliged to omit the remainder of the Constitution for want of room.-Ed.]
Thirteen gentlemen and twenty ladies signed the Constitution and became members of the Association.
Delos Luce, Chas. Hobart, and Mary Taggart, were appointed a committee to nominate officers of the Association for the ensuing year.
AFTERNOON SESSION, --Meeting called to order by the chairman. The committoo on nominations reported, and report on motion was accepted.
The following persons were elected as officers for the ensuing year:
Melzar Parker, President; Geo. F. Hammond, Recording Secretary; Miss Mary Gardner, Corresponding Secretary: Miss Emma Caldwell, Treasurer ; Rev. W. Templeton, Miss Lucia Gibson, and Miss Salome Moodie, Board of Directors.
The following persons were chosen a committee on resolutions: Charles F. Hobart, George Selleck, and Miss Emma Caldwell.
On motion voted to adjourn to 61 o'clock this evening.
ENENING SESSION.—The Association called to order by the President, and the minutes of the preceeding sessions read and approved.
On motion Mr. Templeton was called to the chair, while the Association should listen to an address from the President.
Mr. Parker then delivered an address before the Association on the Necessity and Advantage of a System in our Public Schools.
After the address it was moved and voted that a committee of four be chosen to revise our minutes for publication in our county papers, and also in the Journal of Education. The following persons were elected that committee: Melzar Parker, G. Selleck, Miss Mary Gardner, and Miss Lucia Gibson.
On motion voted that each member be requested to prepare an essay on some subject for the next meeting.
The committee on resolutions reported the following, which was accepted, with the understanding that they should, for the want of time, not be discussed, but printed with the minutes of the Association: